- Community Engagement
You can’t hold an event without the audience, so there is nothing more important than focusing on community engagement. This starts before the event and runs long after the closing keynote. Before the event you should engage your key influencers and get them to start talking about the event. This can include speakers as well as past attendees who are dedicated to the cause. Engage them on a weekly basis with talking points and outreach ideas so that there is a regular conversation taking place to create build up. At the event, encourage social conversations both in person and digitally and after the event is over in order to keep the audience engaged.
- Social Marketing
Social media is the currency of community engagement. Create social media accounts and update them consistently. Create hashtags for your events and the conversations around them. Use these hash tags to encourage the community to share photos and stories about the event. But don’t be overly self-promotional. Also promote the topics at hand. For instance, if new research has been published on the topic of your conference, share the data and use it to start a conversation. This will help you establish your brand as a thought leader around the subject and people will think it is important to attend your event.
- Mobile Presence
Your customers are using mobile devices, so make sure that you are present on mobile. Create an app that can serve as a tool for planning before your event, navigating during your event and networking after the event is over. Include useful booking details about the venue and event tickets for early planning. Add schedules, speaker bios and networking features for on-site utility and networking. After the event, use the app to facilitate surveys and feedback.
- Make It Entertaining
Never forget that the attendees in your audience are people and people are coming out be entertained. Book thought provoking and engaging speakers that are of interest to your audience. Think about speakers that you would like to see, and book them. Create fun elements to your event. Think photo booths or scavenger hunts. Gamify the showroom floor. These elements will give people an ice breaker to start talking and will help create a fun atmosphere of participation.
- Customer Service
Event marketers put so much effort into their content, venue and digital that they forget about the customer. This is a disservice to your event business. Remember to think about the whole experience of your event from the point of view of your customer. Is the website easy to navigate? Are tickets easy to purchase? Does your app serve up useful information without pages of logins? Are the speakers engaging? Are there plenty of rooms at the conference hotel and is there plenty of parking? Customers will engage with your events in so many ways, so consider the experience from their point of you and make it as smooth as possible.
- Attendee Feedback
Event attendees are the best people to speak to about what went right and what went wrong with your event. Tap into this incredible resource by reaching out to your audience after the show. Send follow up emails or app messages soliciting feedback. Create a survey that is quick and easy to respond to. By taking the pulse on your event right after it occurred, you will have fresh and insightful perspectives on how to run your next event. And remember to review this information before planning the next show.
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